Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of two Man Utd defenders Fabrizio Romano reckons could depart this summer, and Erik ten Hag may already have his new No 1 right-back in mind.
Wan-Bissaka, 24, endured his worst campaign to date since moving to Manchester United in 2019. The full-back continued to struggle to influence proceedings going forward. However, his usually sky high defensive standards took a tumble under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
That led to Portugal international Diogo Dalot getting a chance to shine and the 23-year-old rarely put a foot wrong.
Indeed, the pair generated almost identical minutes in the Premier League this season when all was said and done. Wan-Bissaka’s 1,794 minutes were narrowly topped by Dalot’s 1,796.
But while that represented progress for Dalot, it constituted a fall from grace for Wan-Bissaka. And with the attack-minded Ten Hag now at the helm, the latter’s future is now in doubt.
A return to Selhurst Park with Palace has been mooted. That particular move was first touted by the Athleticand transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has shed new light on the state of play.
Writing in his column for Caught Offside, Romano stated Wan-Bissaka is poised to meet with Ten Hag to discuss his future. However, the current expectation is that he – along with Eric Bailly – will be allowed to leave.
Palace are deemed to have laid the groundwork for a swoop, though only in a loan capacity at present. That would do little to boost Ten Hag’s coffers after the Express reported any money generated from player sales will be immediately reinvested this summer.
A permanent sale may therefore be in United’s best interest, and Romano added they expect other clubs to come forward with proposals in the near future.
Diogo Dalot in line for promotion
Regarding what Ten Hag will do if Wan-Bissaka does leave, Romano suggested Dalot may in fact become the club’s No 1 right-back – even if a new player is signed.
That fits with what other outlets have reported regarding United’s transfer priorities this summer. A center-back, central midfielder and striker are believed to be top of their agenda. Right-back and a wide forward will enter the equation when those more pertinent areas are addressed.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be on his way back to Palace
Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be on his way back to Crystal Palace this summer.
Romano stated Ten Hag has received positive feedback on Dalot thus far and added the ‘new right-back will be decided later in the transfer market’.
That would suggest Dalot could be installed as the new No 1, with a new arrival becoming his back-up.
While the journalist did not hint at who could be targeted, prior reports have put Barcelona’s Sergino Dest in the frame.
The 21-year-old American is well known to Ten Hag through their time together at Ajax. He looks set to be moved on by Xavi this summer and United, Chelsea and Leeds are all interested.
Wan-Bissaka’s time is up?
Ten Hag favors mobile defenders who are strong one-v-one and capable of playing out from the back. Wan-Bissaka ticks the first two boxes, though his ability on the ball has always been in question.
On paper, Dalot appears to be a better fit for Ten Hag’s attacking style. Additionally, a defensive-minded second string full-back provides far less use off the bench than a forward-thinking one.
What’s more, Wan-Bissaka’s international ambitions have taken a hit in recent times. If he is to hold any hope of overhauling the likes of Reece James, Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and co. the first thing he must do is play regularly.
A return to Palace would grant him that opportunity. Patrick Viera’s current options in that position are Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Ward. Wan-Bissaka would represent an upgrade on both of the aging pair.